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VOL. 130 | NO. 17 | Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shelby County Mortgage Market Sees Improvement

By Andy Meek

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The mortgage market in Shelby County ended 2014 in a slighter better position than where it stood in 2013.

Banks and mortgage lenders made 8,471 purchase mortgages in Shelby County during 2014, up 2 percent from the 8,301 mortgages during 2013, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports,www.chandlerreports.com.

Data for this report did not include refinances.

Other metrics ended the year on a similarly up note. The average mortgage amount in 2014, for example, stood at $171,967, up 1.7 percent from the average of $169,072 in 2013.

And total mortgage volume for the year edged 4 percent higher to a little more than $1.45 billion from about $1.4 billion in 2013.

Sam Goff, vice president of mortgage at Independent Bank, said he thinks it’s a preface to better days ahead.

“We’re already in a situation where desirable properties in desirable neighborhoods are being snapped up pretty quick,” Goff said. “We’re also got this enormous backlog of people who in a normal economic environment would already be purchasing a house. I think we’re at the front of end of what’s going to be a tidal wave. I think this is going to be a great year for the mortgage industry.”

The improvement in the county’s mortgage activity, meanwhile, diverges slightly from the number of home sales over the past year.

According to Chandler Reports, Shelby County ended 2014 with 15,702 homes sold during the year, down 1.2 percent from the 15,896 homes sold in 2013.

Improvement in mortgage numbers, though, tended to be broad-based in 2014, with a few exceptions. Other than First Tennessee Bank, for example, most of the largest banks based in Memphis saw higher mortgage numbers.

Independent Bank recorded with 130 mortgages in 2014 compared with 43 in 2013. Metropolitan Bank grew its number of mortgages from 79 to 143 over the same period, while Magna Bank’s grew from 582 to 601.

First Tennessee Bank, though, recorded 52 mortgages during 2014 compared with 58 mortgages in 2013.

“In my personal business, my phone was ringing off the hook in December, so January may be a good closing month,” said Tommie Criswell, vice-president and broker with Crye-Leike Realtors. “And my friends in the lending industry report they’re seeing the same.”

Lenders with the highest mortgage volume in 2014 included Magna Bank at the top, with a volume of $112.3 million, up from a little more than $109 million in 2013.

Next came Community Mortgage Corp. with its 2014 volume of a little more than $97 million, down from a little more than $120 million in 2013.

Iberiabank grew its volume from 2013 to 2014 (from almost $70 million to a little more than $96 million.

And Patriot Bank’s volume was up during the same period (from almost $80 million to a little more than $83 million).

Other gainers during 2014 included Triumph Mortgage, which grew its mortgage volume to almost $43 million from almost $8 million in 2013. Financial Federal grew its volume from a little more than $49 million in 2013 to a little more than $50 million last year. And Trustmark National Bank grew its volume from 2013-2014, going from about $10 million in volume to a little more than $16 million last year.

Bartlett Mortgage slipped a little, with its volume dropping from a little more than $27 million in 2013 to a little more than $25 million last year. Likewise, Paragon Bank was down a little for the year, with its volume slipping from a little more than $19 million to $18.9 million last year.

Chandler Reports is a division of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270